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Review: Hoka Tecton X trail running shoes

Written by Fiona

June 23 2022

Hoka has designed a trail running shoe that includes carbon-fibre plates to provide, so they claim, extra propulsion. Here are my thoughts on the Hoka Tecton X trail running shoes.

Features include:

  • Parallel carbon fibre plates ​
  • Early-stage Meta-Rocker ​
  • ProFly™ construction ​
  • Engineered jacquard mesh ​
  • Recycled content polyester laces ​
  • Ghillie lacing system ​
  • Protective toe rand
  • Non-moulded EVA sockliner ​
  • Outsole: Vibram® Megagrip with Litebase
  • 4mm lug ​
  • Zonal rubber placement ​
  • Drop: 5mm (33mm in the back and 29mm in forefoot)
  • Vegan
  • Sizes: M: UK6.5 to UK13.5; F: UK3.5 to UK9.5
  • Weight (per shoe): F: 196g; M: 240g £175
  • Colours: M: Persimmon Orange / Radiant Yellow; F: Camellia / Blue Coral
  • Buy: Men’s Hoka Tecton X and Women’s Hoka Tecton X (I receive a small commission for sales through this site.)

More details: Hoka Tecton X trail running shoes

Hoka have created the lightweight Tecton X trail running shoes to provide more speed and propulsion for runners. The shoes look very much like many Hoaks with thick soles and a cartoon-like shape.

I wear Hoka Torretn IIs for most of my trail runs, so I was keen to try a lighter weight shoe with more bounce.

The Hoka Tecton X upper is single-layer jacquard engineered mesh that hugs the foot. Hoka has added a non-moulded EVA sockliner to give further support inside the shoe. ​

The shoes have polyester laces with an undefined ​recycled content. These fit into a ghillie-style lacing system to make it easy to lace them up to the required tension.

Underfoot there is a a “ProFlyX™ midsole”, which Hoka reports combines a lightweight and responsive foam base with an ultra-soft foam in-sole lining. 

The outsole is Hoka’s own design of Vibram® Megagrip with Litebase construction. The lugs are 4mm depth and with “zonal rubber placement”, which is meant to offer “grip where needed”.

I’d say, looking at the sole base, this is a running shoe for forest tracks and lower level trails, as well as some tarmac, but not for technical, muddy and rocky hill paths and mountain slopes.  

The extra “magic” ingredient that makes Tecton X different from other Hokas is a set of two parallel carbon fibre plates which are incorporated into the build of the sole. The aim of these is to offer runners extra propulsion.

In addition, the Tecton X sole is designed with an early-stage Meta-Rocker, which places a transition zone behind the metatarsal heads and closer to the heel. The aim of this so-called Meta-Rocker is to aid running smoothness and a faster transition from the heel of the foot to the forefoot. 

The deep soles are 33mm at the rear of the Hoka Tecton X shoe and 29mm in forefoot. This gives a 5mm heel-to-toe drop, which is pretty standard in trail running shoes. So, while you have lots of depth and cushioning, there is still a relatively normal heel-to-toe drop.

The shoes weigh an average 196g per shoe for a female size and around 240g for the male shoe. This is lightweight for a shoe with so much cushioning.

My review: Hoka Tecton X trail running shoes

The Hoka Tecton X shoe certainly feels lightweight. It is immediately very comfortable, especially underfoot. Hoka are known for there cushioning and the Tecton X is a delight if you like lots of cushioning and bounce. Not everyone does but I do for most of my trail running so I enjoyed the Hoka Tecton X shoe.

The upper looks wide but it nicely hugs my foot. I have a narrow foot and I was happy with how the shoe fits. The ghillie lacing system allows you to achieve an even support across the top of the foot, too. The only problem with the ghillie style is they have more potential to wear out/ rip. The loops are made from strips of fabric, rather than the usual eyelets built into the fabric of the upper.

Running in the shoes, whether on tarmac or trails, feels really good. There is an excellent ratio of cushioning to response and power. Some cushioned shoes make me feel like I am losing energy with every step, but not in the Tecton X shoes. 

I have no idea if it’s the carbon fibre plates that provide some of this power and propulsion, or maybe it’s the rocker in the sole, but suffice to say these are really great shoes to run in.

I do have some quibbles. The heel cup feels quite deep and has more volume than I like so it has the potential to niggle my Achilles tendon. I am susceptible to this so I usually choose a running shoe with a heel cup that is fairly shallow. It’s almost as if these shoes are too comfortable, like a pair of slippers.

The Tecton X shoes are best for easier going trails, hard packed tracks and tarmac. I don’t feel comfortable on technical terrain because when the trails get gnarly I need to be closer to the ground and feel the paths and track more closely.

On more technical trails, I went over on my ankles a couple of times and felt quite a few unstable wobbles. You need to keep in mind that despite paying a lot of money for these shoes they will be useful for limited types of terrain.

Another negative is that there is only one colour choice for the male and the female shoes. I like the orange but if you don’t, there is no other option. Maybe Hoka will make more colours once they gauge the popularity of the shoe.

These shoes are not cheap and the extra cost could be accounted for by the new design and carbon fibre plates. They do make me feel like I have more energy and bounce when running. But they have limited use and I am not sure I like the fit at the heel cup.

If you like Hoka you may well find yourself a big fan of the Hoka Tecton X running shoes. They are an innovative concept but only if you can afford to try them.

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